The Sweetest of them All
Contributor: lightech Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
My grandmother, Mary Cardon Clouse, was and is truly an inspiration to me. Being among the youngest of my generation, all of my memories of her are from when she was in her eighties and nineties. She suffered from dimensia throughout all of these years, but I don't think I have ever known a sweeter person.
Along with my parents, I would go over and visit nearly every Sunday night. Grandma would sit in her handmade rocking chair with the purple pillow, and usually had a book on her lap. One of her favorites was called "The Restored Church." She was always reading to better herself. She even played the piano into her nineties. Her favorite song to play, and probably our favorite song to listen to, was "Lincoln's Funeral March." Another favorite was "Star Bright" which I still sing with my sister occasionally.
My mother said that my grandmother was a person "without guile." Although I knew what the word meant, I don't think I could truly appreciate what a compliment that was until I grew up and realized that to be without guile is not an attribute that simply comes to a person. As I have grown older, I have thought about that and how special and sweet it was to have a grandmother who always wanted to see not only me but everyone, who thought the best of others, and who always had the kindest of intentions.
I can still hear her voice saying, "Come sit over here, dearie", and holding my hand while she just sat and smiled at me and asked how I was doing. Although for most (if not all) of my life that I can recall she did not remember my name every time I saw her, I know that she knew me. She remembered my face and was always so genuinely delighted to see me and all of her grandchildren.
One of my favorite memories with my Grandma Clouse occurred when I was in high school. She was 92 years old, I believe, and had just endured a very painful surgery. But of course, she laid in her hospital bed smiling brightly, as sweet as ever. I went with my parents to visit her in the hospital. Only a few times, this probably being among the first, had I seen her with her hair down; she usually wore it up in a soft, wispy bun of some sort. Seeing my sweet grandmother lying in that bed just filled me with emotion; I just loved her so much. I saw a comb on the bedside table and laid down next to her and combed her hair and just cried...she was so special to me. My mom sat by the bed and just cried...we all loved her so much.
A few years later my mother passed away. I distinctly remember walking into her funeral service and seeing my Grandma and Grandpa Clouse, both in their nineties, struggling to stay standing as we walked by. That was such a humbling experience for me and was truly the first moment that it "hit me" that my mother had left this earth.
My grandma truly set a tremendous example for me just by being there. She didn't say much, but was ALWAYS smiling, was always content, and obviously had a very deep love and conviction the reality of her Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, with whom I'm sure she now lives.